More reviews of the unusual by Harriet
Berkley, Feb 2010, $14.00
Public relations specialist Casey Schwartz wakes up behind bars, but cannot recall getting arrested. She calls her big sister Wanda (see the Accidental Werewolf) to bail her out. Casey not only fails to remember beating up a cop, which led to her arrest, the normally mild mannered woman cannot understand her sudden short fuse and incredible strength.
Vampire Clayton Gunnersson arrives knowing why Casey has radically changed. In a bar someone accidentally dropped demon blood on her and she is changing into the genetic clone of Clay’s demonic mate Hildegard. Casey is attracted to Clay, which if her “twin” finds out will make turning into a demon seem gentle and sweet.
This is a laugh out loud romantic fantasy as fans of the Accidental saga (See Accidental Human and Accidentally Dead) will understand the mantra may the Schwartz be with us. The story line is a breezy lighthearted frolic as a werewolf or vampire bite pale compared to being demonized. Zany throughout, fans of madcap paranormal tales will enjoy the meek will inherit the earth; if they live long enough. Harriet Klausner
Berkley, Feb 2010, $7.99
Elena Deveraux wakes up to see an odd alien city with angels in the sky. Archangel of New York Raphael fell in love with the human hunter and changed her into an immortal. After being in a coma for a year, she has been awake for three days. They argue over their relationship as he insists he is he master and she says they are equals. He says she must fly or die in the next two months as they have been invited to a ball by the oldest archangel Lijuan that they cannot afford to miss gong. Lijuan considers the hunter as Raphael’s pet and the other living members of the Cadre of ten want to test her power too after what she did to one of them in New York and her being the first made human in millennia.
Raphael and Elena while flying over Refuge see a body near where Raphael’s land touches that of Elijah. Loyal vampire Noel was battered and left to die with a warning to Elena as a Hunter Gild weapon was buried inside the severely injured man’s chest. The trail is cold. Raphael wants to kill the violator who harmed Noel but needs proof as he knows the games to test him and his soulmate have begun and the danger increases with deaths and torture.
Although the terrific Archangel’s Kiss is a direct sequel to Angels’ Blood readers will have some problems during the first few chapters catching up with the back-story unless you read the previous tale recently. However, that will pass quickly as the exciting story line grips the audience while taking place entirely on the Archangel plane. The mystery is deftly handled as is the relationship between the archangel and the hunter he made while the strong support cast contains distinct different personalities. Fans will relish this engaging romantic fantasy as everything converges at Lijuan’s ball. Harriet Klausner
Battle of the Network Zombies
Kensington, Mar 2010, $15.00
Not all zombies are disgusting creatures as depicted in the Night of the Living Dead saga. Take Seattle's Amanda Feral for instance; she is beautiful using makeup to cover rot like hiding acne, but when a part gets too nasty she can turn to the reapers who for an exorbitant fee (will health care reform cover this) will fix the blemish. Since her ad agency tanked thanks to a client who created a product that flopped once the public knew what is made of, Amada’s “agent” Wendy KlarKaroff arranged a meeting with the despicable wood nymph Johnny Birch for some needed publicity by appearing on his reality TV show.
Johnny’s new show "Minions Mansion" is overloaded with “guests” who hate him. When someone threatens him, he plans two hire a body guard from one of the contestants on his show. Amanda becomes a judge on Minions Mansion and is one of the first people to find his corpse inside his locked safe. Many of the crew including the judges had strong motives to incinerate Johnny, but Amanda fears the killer will strike again; yet her warning is ignored as everyone assumes Johnny deserved to die and prefer Happy Hour of the Damned.
Somewhat chick-lit comedy, Amanda’s latest urban fantasy amateur sleuth (see Road Trip of the Living Dead) is a unique reading experience as Mark Henry gives the zombie treatment to reality TV. Amanda is perfect for pulling off the satire with her sidebar commentary about life as a zombie diva which is expensive because image is everything and she must have expensive make-up and a classy wardrobe and she hope the publicity of being a judge will get her some clients for her ad agency. Fans will enjoy this refreshingly something different as Amanda judges the undead as deadly, but her philosophy is to die with your makeup on. The audience will like the switch from a reality show to a mystery who-done-it which Amanda hopes to solve. Harriet Klausner